Saturday, January 14, 2012

A New Leaf (Anthropologie Fitting Room Reviews)

Last year (2011), wasn't the best in terms of my relationship with Anthropologie. Like many of you, I felt...less than thrilled by the selection, and I spent far less time in their stores and fitting rooms than I did the previous year (2010). I'd still walk in and through the stores when I was at the mall, but I felt less and less inclined to pull anything to try on, and you may have noticed, all of this contributed to the dearth of Anthro fitting room reviews being posted here.

I think this trend may be about to change.

Now, I don't want to rush and make any proclamations here - there was a point, mid-year, when Anthro faked me out by making me think it was going to leave off on all the tribal/bohemian/trendy stuff and make a return to the fun, whimsical, more classic styles that I learned to love them for - when actually, it was just a couple random items that caught my attention in a catalog. So, while I'm definitely trending towards optimistic, due to what I'm seeing in the stores and website at the moment (there are easily a dozen dresses that I'd totally introduce to my closet if I had the means), I'm not going to hold my breath. At least, not yet.

Still, what they've got going on was enough to get back in their fitting rooms again, so here we are! Anthro fitting room reviews.

I've been sort of walking past the Embossed Basket Dress for the past month or so without any desire to try it on. But lately, I can't help noticing this green version (I've got a weakness for green dresses...), and so, here I am, giving it a go. I'm wearing this in in the XS, and found it to fit very comfortably. It's a pretty simple sort of dress, made of heavy textured knit. The waist hit just a touch low on me, but it should be noted that I am short-waisted, so that's probably okay for most, and it's totally workable for me too. The skirt ended right at the top of my knee, so a really perfect length for me too. There's a back zipper, a nice cap sleeve, and it's machine washable (yay!). Can't remember now if there's a pocket or not, but I don't think it had one. Overall, a totally unoffensive, if somewhat uninspiring dress, that I could totally wear, but for which I wouldn't pay full price. Wishlisted for sale time.

Dropwaist Mini Dress:

This is the Dropwaist Mini Dress, which I'm wearing in size 2. I've got a few extra pounds I picked up over the holiday season (happy fat?) so I knew that if I tried the 0 on a drop-waisted dress, it could be bad news bears. The 2 fit me comfortably, and I'll say right now that I rather liked it. It's definitely a shorter skirt, hitting about 3 inches above my knee, which means it'd be lots shorter on taller women (something to keep in mind). I have seen it styled as a tunic though, so that might be an option, if you're uncomfortable with the length. Some drawbacks - no pockets (I know, I'm so spoiled - EDIT: turns out there are pockets, and I missed 'em!), it's dry-clean only, and it's got a rather untenably deep slit in the back (for me - see photo below). I found that long slit gaped open every time I moved my arms. Kind of a bummer as I'm not willing to go bra-less, and I'm not so into the idea of wearing a cami under this. If I were to buy this dress, I'd probably stitch up the bottom half of it, to give me a bit more coverage. Or, if that made it too hard to get the dress on and off, I might install an exposed zipper. Wishlisted for consideration at sale time.

Detail of the back of the Drop Waist Mini Dress.

Swing Away Dress:

You may not know this about me, but I have a soft spot for swing dresses. I think maybe it takes me back to happy memories of wearing these smock-like dresses as a young child. Whatever it is, when I spotted the  Swing Away Dress in my local store, I had to pick it up and take it into the fitting room with me. I'm wearing it in size 0, and was roomy. This is okay, as it's meant to be roomy. But I think, if one wasn't careful, one could look as though one were wearing a muumuu. Or a tent. I liked the length on it - it hit me at the knee - and I liked that it has pockets. I also like that it's well-lined and opaque. The puffed sleeves puffed quite a bit (as you can see), and in the dressing room, I didn't like them. Looking at the photos, though, they don't seem too bad. There is a petite version of this, which I find interesting. The dress is made of a wool-gauze and is dry-clean only, which isn't great. I thought the embroidery on the shoulder plackets was pretty if unremarkable. Wishlisted for consideration at sale time.

Goji Plaid Dress:

I'm wearing the Goji Plaid Dress in a size 0. This silk dress seems to be a variation on the familiar Take Action dress silhouette, with the substitution of an attached sash waist, a slightly fuller skirt, and a triangular cut-out in the back. I didn't love it - while it fit me well in the front, with the waist hitting at my own true waist, the back was too long, and caused the cut-out area to bunch unattractively (see photo below). This may not be an issue for longer-waisted women. On a positive note, the cut-out is placed more strategically, covering bra straps/fasteners. Less happy? Well, the shoulders of the dress are, like on the Take Action dress, cut in a bit. When I'm wear my Take Action dress, I usually wear a racerback bra with it, so as to avoid having my bra's shoulder straps peak out. Obviously, this dress isn't going to work with a racerback. So, uh...I have no solutions for this issue. It is, for me, a moot point, as there are a lot of dresses at Anthro that I'd prefer to own. Pass for me.

Detail of the back of the Goji Plaid Dress

Draped Snail Tank and Mystery Maeve Skirt:

When I saw the Draped Snail Tank on Anthro's website, I was smitten. I couldn't wait to see it and try it on. This is slightly odd, as it's print is dotted with snails, and I definitely objected to the snails that crawled across the In Clouds Blouse. I can't say why I am not bothered by these snails in the least, but I never claimed to be consistent, so there you have it. Anyway, when I saw it in the store, I grabbed it in this punchy pink color (so fun!) along with this nubby wool skirt (not available online - but made by Maeve, priced at $98). I'm wearing the skirt in a size 2, and I don't have much to say about it except that the 2 was too big for me (I'm fairly certain I can size down to the 0 with no problem), there was a back zipper, and I'm pretty certain it had pockets. I definitely like it, and think I'll spring for it when it goes on sale.

I tried on the Draped Snail Tank in a size 0, and I found it to be...blousy. This is not helped by the fact that it's completely split open in the back, from the neck down. I don't love this feature of it, and if I were to buy this top, I might, for my own use, stitch it closed (I know, I'm no fun at all). I was able to tuck the top into the skirt, with some success, but as you can see from the photo (above right), it didn't want to stay tucked. The top is made of silk, is hand-washable, and still manages to be super cute and I'll probably try to grab it on sale, despite my misgivings about the open back.

The split back starts directly beneath the top ruffle at the neckline, and continues down to the very bottom of the garment.

Dropped Dots Dress:

When I first saw the Dropped Dots Dress in-store, around the New Year, I wanted to try it on, but couldn't, because there were no more 0s or 2s on the floor. This last week, however, I came across both, so took them into the fitting room with me. I'm wearing the 2 in these photos, and I'll admit that it's entirely because I couldn't zip up the size 0. I've not experienced this often, in Anthropologie, so needless to say, I blame this entirely on my overindulgence during the holidays. But that being said, I need to note that I've tried on other size 0 dresses since then, and have had no problem zipping into those, so...maybe this one's just cut a bit more snugly? I don't know. Anyway, I'm wearing the size 2, which fit me very well in the front, but bunched a bit, in the back (see photo, above right). Again, I attribute this to the fact that I'm both short and short-waisted. The waist is also a bit dropped, compared to most of Anthro's offerings with this silhouette, hitting at the top of my hips, rather than at my true waist. That, along with the surprisingly poofy skirt, made for a...well, poofier skirt than I expected. The back of the bodice was cut into a low-V, which ended before exposing my bra strap. I really actually love the back of this dress, and wish the whole thing fit me better, because I'd totally buy it. Sadly, one can't buy a dress just for the back of it (or can one?), so this one will be a pass for me.

Detail shot of the back of the Dropped Dots Dress.

That's it for now, but there are more to come. Hope you're all having a great weekend!


  1. I hadn't noticed, actually, until now that the Dropped Dots Dress has fairly similar shape to the Embossed Basket Dress. I'm short waisted too, so I'm almost hoping that this dress won't work on me - I've got polka dots coming out of my ears!

    I think the Draped Snail Tank looks fab on you, but splitting the back like that is completely inexplicable - what were they thinking?!

  2. I love the whole new dropped waist they have going on with their dresses.  That's something I loved about the fit and cabled sweaterdress, too.  I don't think those snails would bother me at all either...after all, I have the dog trot cardi and those dogs and I are like best friends!  Love seeing these reviews, Carol.  I live very, very far from an Anthro store, so I don't get to try stuff on and these really help.  

  3. I've got the dropwaist mini wishlisted for a sale already, and you just confirmed that it should stay on that list. I never pay full price for my clothes anymore. :-) my favorites on you are the dropwaist mini and the swing away dress. Both play off of your petite figure so nicely.

  4. The  Embossed Basket Dress is my favorite on you! Thanks for the reviews! I'm definitely eying the Dropped Dots Dress, and good to know it runs small.

  5. I agree, I spent less time in the latter part of 2011 in the Anthropologie dressing room, but it looks like I may have to visit more often. I'm really intrigued by the Swing Away Dress and the Embossed Basket Dress is so classic, I can see it being a staple in anyone's closet. 

  6. The open backs make some of things a "no go" for me because I can't wear then w/o a cardi or cami. Sad bc I love the snail print. I'm also not one for the drop waists on many of the skirts. I'm excited by the Palma dress, so I have my eye on that pretty!

  7. The back cut of the dropped dots dress is awesome, but I just don't like the cut overall- something about the transition from the waist to the gathers just doesn't feel right?  But the snail tank is lovely (I would stitch it up's such an impractical urban-outfittersy-detail) especially the printed silk which I can aways support!  I think the sail away looks really pretty and different, and if anyone could make it work it's you!  I could totally see it with your fabulous clogs!

    I suppose it's a good thing that much of the current roll-out doesn't tempt me because I was totally sucked into far too many of the summer/fall items and ravenously acquired everything in those mondo pre-christmas sales!

  8. You tried on some cute things! Love the color and shape of the goji dress, too bad that the back won't work for you. The dropped waist mini dress is adorable as well. I really like that color on you.

  9. The Dropped Dots Dress definitely runs small--I'm between a 0 and a 2 these days in Anthro dresses, and couldn't zip up either one. The 4 zipped, but was too big in the armpit area.

  10. I recently saw the swing away dress and liked it on the hanger...not sure how it would look on me and I didn't try it on.  I think I would consider for sale time.  The embossed green dress I have eyed too but don't love enough to buy at full price.  I am hoping that Anthro gets back to their styles that brought me in originally!

  11. Yay! Thanks for the fresh reviews, Carol! They are so useful for us girls living in non-Anthro towns :)
    Merci Beaucoup!

  12. I can't justify even trying on the Embossed Basket Dress because I already jumped the gun and bought the Noon & Night Dress over the summer.  But I do like the blue, green and ivory colorways.  The Dropwaist Mini seems like such a fun dress, but the open back is a turn off for me.  You look adorable in it btw with the boots and tights!  And that mystery Maeve skirt is driving me crazy!

  13. I have been more inspired lately with Anthro (ITA last year was a bust, but thankful for my credit cards/wallet!).  I LOVE that Drop Waist Mini on you, until I saw the back.  eek.  I don't like how they're doing a lot of weird back stuff...

    xx Vivian @

  14. I have the Embossed Basket Dress in Black and I have to say that it's wonderful and comfortable to wear!! I love the green version and will be tempted to buy it when it goes sale too. The Dropped Dots Dress is so cute but like you I was unable to zip my normal 0.....I blame it on the shape of the dress (haha) It's too bad because I love the polka dot print and back cut. The Draped Snail in Pink looks SO cute on you!! 

  15. When I first saw the green Dropwaist Mini on the website,I was wondering who it would look good on,and I have to say I love it on you!

  16. Just a quick note: the green dropwaist mini DOES have pockets. I didn't know or notice this until after I'd bought it and taken it home (even though the model on the Anthro website has her one hand in a pocket), but was super thrilled to discover that it did have them :)

    1. Oh wow! That's fantastic! I don't know how I missed them, but that's great news. Yay! Thanks for letting us know! :)

  17. absolutely love that dropped dots dress on you!

  18. I am sorry to say this, but NONE of those dresses looked nice on you. All of them were way to puffy for a girl as petite as you are. Plus you have a sway back, so you really need something that is more form fitting and DOESN'T balloon out over your booty the way that the dropped dots dress does.

    My personal favorite on you is probably the embossed basket dress - and it would look GREAT on you if it weren't for the fact that the waist is so LOW - if it were an empire waist, it would make your legs look longer and make you look taller. As it is, the mid-level waist makes your legs look shorter, and thus make you look shorter.

    Really, I DO think you have a GREAT body for dresses. It's just that you have to make sure they are high waisted and they are fitted, because being so petite, they don't show off what great shape you are in.